Peter’s original sketch showing Father Christmas on the façade of Blackler’s.
Blackler's Department Store, on the corner of Elliot Street and Great Charlotte Street, was famous for its amazing Winter Wonderland Grottos. More than 10,000 visitors a week marvelled at the magical scenes and told Santa Claus what they'd like for Christmas.
Over Christmas 2013 we displayed a huge Father Christmas from Blackler's in The People's Republic gallery. See photos of it on display on the blog.
This Father Christmas, based on a Norman Rockwell illustration, was painted by Peter Blazey in 1957 as an 18 year old apprentice artist at Blackler’s display studio. It was displayed on the outside of Blackler’s for a number of years.
Following the store’s closure in 1988, Peter bought many of the props he had designed and made over the years and set up his own display studio.
Peter, who has recently retired, kindly donated this Father Christmas and also the large Santa Claus which was displayed inside the store. After many years of hard work, it is currently undergoing conservation work.